set your furnace fan - Live With Less Impact

set your furnace fan - Live With Less Impact
section 3
Here’s the easiest way to save energy
even when the air conditioner isn’t, trying
to circulate the cool air).
Your thermostat probably has a little
switch on it to control the fan in your heating system.
To make matters worse, these fans tend
to be wildly inefficient.
set your
furnace fan
If you have forced hot air for your heating
system, then turning that switch to On
keeps the furnace fan whirring constantly
every hour of the day every day of the
year. That fan is then trying to circulate
the heat from the furnace even when the
furnace is off—even in the middle of the
(The same is true if you have central air
conditioning. The fan again will be on,
Switching it to Auto turns the fan on only
when the furnace or air conditioner turns
How to switch your
furnace fan setting
• Energy savings per decade: $5,619
and 44,800 lbs. CO2
• Level of difficulty: Easy
• Cost: $0
• How long it takes: 10 seconds
• Tools & materials: Your finger
Myth buster: Some people like to keep the
fan on all the time. They believe:
1. If you have forced hot air heat (i.e., no
radiators in your home, but those
vents with metal grates), walk over to
your thermostat now.
• The fan will keep them cooler in the summer or will mix air better in the winter.
However, if the ducts run outside the
heated and cooled part of the building (for
instance into the attic or a crawlspace),
then the air moving through the ducts will
lose heat in the winter and cold during the
summer making the home more uncomfortable and increasing the energy bill even
more than we’ve estimated here. In addition, in the summer the fan power will add
extra heat to your home you don't want.
2. See the button that says Fan? If it is
set to On, switch it to Auto.
3. You just saved $525 in electricity per
4. Check the thermostats at your neighbors’, friends’ and relatives’ homes
also. If any of them have forced hot air
and the Fan switch set the wrong way,
flip the switch to Auto and then ask
them to take you out for a nice dinner.
They owe you.
• They are making their air cleaner by filtering it. Unfortunately normal furnace and air
conditioning filters don’t filter air very effectively unless you have some fancy filtration
set up (that was installed well).
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